Wednesday, March 16, 2011
When the human body betrays its occupant in radically painful and untreatable ways, the sufferer her friends, family, and others encounter the steely stare of raw futility. Nothing can be done, except cry out to a seemingly empty or inactive or even sadistic heaven.
Futility evokes many futile responses: anger, despair, desperate actions with little chance of ameliorating anything. The encounter with futility, vanity, the inexorably painful is the ultimate test of Christian existence. Can one obey in the silent darkness of unrelenting groaning, moaning, lamenting existence? Words fail; prayers fail; natural means for relief fail. Life itself fails. God is hidden; life is ridden with radical sickness.
The whole universe groans unto its redemption; we, too, groan; the Spirit groans, and groans for us in our groaning. We hear and feel groaning within, groaning without, and groaning Above. A three-fold chorus of lament and hope deferred it seems. We would rather close our ears our eyes our heart, but God pries them open. The roar is deafening, calling out to a silent void of unhelpfulness--for now.